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Articles Archive for August 2014

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[29 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

Edward R. Murrow, David Brinkley, Walter Kronkite – these are the names that come to mind when we think of iconic journalists in news reporting. Hedda Hopper, Rona Barrett, Perez Hilton – these are the names that come to mind when we think of iconic celebrity gossip columnists. Which do you think the Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed properly falls under? Her latest Pulitzer-winning material: Hmmm. News GOP gubernatorial gazillionaire Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana — who own nine homes…

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[29 Aug 2014 | 3 Comments | ]

World monetary policy leaders (including Fed Chair Janet Yellen and ECB President Mario Draghi) met, and spoke, in Jackson Hole, WY last week. It’s the equivalent of the Emmy Awards for central bankers.
But, what is most interesting about all of this is that the more central bankers talk, the less anyone understands them. Supposedly, all the speeches, minutes, transcripts and press conferences are making the Fed, and other central banks, more transparent. But, in the end, they are making everything more opaque.

The Fed, in particular, is becoming harder to understand. …

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[29 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

City Journal on rent-seeking out of control:

Modern “progressives” are not, as some economic conservatives would say, socialists. In fact, today’s so-called progressives are not even particularly progressive, at least in the usual sense of seeking to redistribute wealth from rich to poor. As Fred Siegel has noted, contemporary progressivism is an upper-middle-class movement that caters to the social libertarianism of coastal elites, while paying lip service to left-wing economic concerns. Even when modern progressives do support economic development, they often do so in ways that stand traditional progressivism on its head—redistributing wealth upward to favored industries.

It would be hard to find a better example of this than Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement last month that New York State will lavish $16 million in giveaways on CBS to keep The Late Show in Manhattan when urbane hipster Stephen Colbert succeeds David Letterman as host next year. The CBS handout follows an even sweeter deal for NBC, which received over $20 million in tax credits and other funding to bring The Tonight Show back to New York from Los Angeles when Jimmy Fallon took over from Jay Leno as host earlier this year. The Tonight Show didn’t actually qualify for the state’s $420 million-a-year film and television production tax-credit program, which excludes talk shows. But Cuomo asked the state legislature to carve out an exception for “a talk or variety program that filmed at least five seasons outside the state prior to its first relocated season in New York” and is “filmed before a studio audience of two hundred or more.” E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy branded the provision “Jimmy’s Law.”

No wonder the entertainment industry wants a statist society: they enjoy ripping off taxpayers. No word yet on when Obama and Dick Durbin will ask the Hollywood types to pay their fair share as an act of patriotism.

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[29 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

* AP…
Last week, an Office of the Executive Inspector General review concluded more than 250 IDOT “staff assistants” got jobs in the past decade based on clout, when the positions should have been publicly available to any candidate and filled based on qualifications. Quinn’s administration announced last week it was laying off 58 people who […]

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[29 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

* Remember the other day when Bruce Rauner and his chief of staff were saying that Rauner’s campaign was being outspent 2-1 by Gov. Pat Quinn and his allies? No longer…
Bruce Rauner’s campaign just doubled its near future TV ad buy, sources tell Early & Often.
The camp on Thursday doubled its new flight from […]

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[29 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

If the English bard Shakespeare were resurrected, and brought to Chicago’s northwest side and northwest suburbs in 2014 to pen some verse on political reality, he would undoubtedly coin the phrase: “To pact or not to pact? That is the question.” And the answer is: Those politicians who don’t pact, don’t win.
Among area “Pact-Men” and “Pact-Women,” past and present, are Pete Silvestri, Michael McAuliffe, John Mulroe, Mary O’Connor, Rob Martwick, Skippy Saviano, Barrett Pedersen, Brad Stephens, Bill Banks, Jim DeLeo, Marty Moylan, and Bob Provenzano. The two most pact-less and …

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[29 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

* For decades in this state, a small number of casinos had a complete, legal and state-protected monopoly on slot machine gaming. The public benefits of those monopolies have mainly been confined to a handful of communities, although the state has bro…

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[29 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

* On taxes…

“It’s painful, I hate to put new taxes in place but it’s an important, pro-growth, investment policy,” Rauner said. “We shouldn’t tax investment and income, we should tax consumption.”

And…
“A consumption tax hurts hard-working people raising families and living from paycheck to paycheck,” Gov. Pat Quinn said.
I’m not sure how taxes on consumption […]